Space and style rarely mix but the futuristic Citroen Grand C4 Picasso could be the car to inject some desirability into the MPV class. We’ve tested it in the UK to see how it stacks up to the best seven-seat rivals.
Aside from those ultra-modern looks, Citroen has also taken a really creative approach to the interior design, and it takes time to adjust to the lounge-like cabin.
In the automatic model that we tried the gear selector is mounted on the steering column like in an old American saloon car, but this frees up space for a huge armrest and storage box under the dash, with USB ports, a 12v socket and SD card slot stowed out of sight.
The stylish centre console on the top-spec Exclusive+ model has an enormous 12-inch colour display that replaces traditional dials and a smaller touchscreen to control all the major functions.
These two features both help to push the new Grand C4 Picasso a lot further upmarket - and justify the £27,855 price tag for top-end cars like this one. Build quality is decent too, and the narrow A-pillars and large swept-back windscreen give a fantastic view of the road and let loads of light inside.
Practicality is still high up the agenda, and the added flexibility of the third row makes the longer Grand C4 Picasso considerably more spacious than its five-seat sibling. The seating system is a doddle to use, and the seats require little effort to manouevre.
On the road, the 2.0-litre diesel is a strong performer, even if the slightly hesitant automatic gearbox hampers any attempt to make a really quick getaway from traffic lights when driving in town. The soft ride does a fine job of coping with dips and crests on smooth roads but broken surfaces expose the passengers to sudden bumps and judders from the big wheels.
Incredibly light steering gives this vast MPV impressive agility, but quick inputs are still met with plenty of body roll in fast corners.
Despite this, an excellent CO2 figure of 120g/km makes this massive car as cheap to run as something half its size - which will matter a lot more to the majority of buyers than the soft-edged dynamics.